The Imagine Neighborhood Podcast

In spite of hopeful signs that the worst of the pandemic may be behind us, remote learning continues to be a reality for many students, parents and teachers. The stress on all of us is wearying and relentless.


The Imagine Neighborhood, the award-winning podcast that use stories, music, and activities to help kids and grown-ups talk about big feelings and solve problems together, is here to help.

With content based on Committee For Children’s award-winning social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum Second StepThe Imagine Neighborhood tells stories that are amazing, fantastical, and maybe a little bananas, while tackling the feelings that come with growing up.

The Imagine Neighborhood’s Research Manager, Dr. Sherri Widen, an expert in child development and social emotional growth, understands parents’ concerns about the impact of remote learnings. Here are a few tips she suggests for getting through the challenges:

Remember that we’ve done this before – and that it’s been worse

We know what it was like in the first half of 2020. The lockdown seemed endless. This time, kids can be assured that any lockdown will be relatively short. They are going to go back to school. Remind them that they got through it once. They can do it again.

Talk to your kids

Encourage your kids to name their feelings. Listen to what they are telling you. At the same time, parents should not be shy about opening up as well. Your kids need to know what you are feeling.

Take a family walk

For many of us, the morning trip to work or school was a time to get mentally set for the day. It’s hard when you just roll out of bed and log onto your computer. Dr. Sherri suggests going on a family walk together before everyone starts their day. It will clear everyone’s head and energize them for the day that awaits.

Get ready like you would if you were going out

It’s tempting to stay in your PJs, especially from the waist down. After all, who’s going to see you when you’re on Zoom? But part of getting mentally set is treating remote learning the way you would if you had to sit in class. Take a shower, get dressed, brush your hair. And keep your camera on!

Take movement breaks

It’s unrealistic to think anyone can sit in front of a computer without moving all day. When you’re in school, you’re walking from class to class, going to your locker or lunch or the gym. Make a point when your home to get up and move, even if only for five minutes.

Find opportunities for socialization

One of the worst parts of being remote is the feeling of isolation. Find ways to socialize, even if it’s virtual. Encourage teachers to break classes into smaller group discussions, where kids have more opportunity to talk and hear from others.